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Old 08-12-2020, 06:57 PM   #1
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What to expect from the dealer?

Next weekend Iíll drive 14 hours across 5 states to pick up my new travel trailer (basically an online purchase). I have a certain level of expectation of what the purchase experience will be; having bought my fair share of autos over the years, but wondering if an RV experience will be different.

How I envision Ė I arrive at the dealer mid-morning and am enthusiastically greeted by my salesman. He shows me my unit and we do a 15 minute tour of my trailer. When I say ďGreat letís make this happenĒ he hands me over to a service tech who spends at least an hour going over all the systems and answering my endless barrage of questions. All while Iím going over my PDI checklist and scribbling notes in the margins.

The dealer has had 6 weeks to prep the unit (they requested 5 and my schedule pushed delivery one more week) so Iím not expecting to find any issuesÖ with anything. If I do find something not to my liking it will be a quick fix by the tech while I look over his shoulder waiting.

Again after I give the okay Iíll be escorted inside for the paperwork, after handing the tech my truck keys. The dealer advertises No Hidden Fees so not expecting any surprises inside. Iím doing dealer financing in the short term and already preapproved so again no surprises there.

When the ink is dry I meet up again with my enthusiastic salesman and escorted outside where my new trailer is hitched to my truck and am handed back the keys. (Iím buying the hitch from the dealer too so they will be installing) After a hitch demonstration and a few more questions I get in, tweak the mirrors and make a left turn onto I-80.

This isnít an emotional purchase so I could easily Walk Away if things go south. The 14 hour drive is no big deal, my parents, who I havenít seen for a year, are just another hour down the road. So thatís where the first night of camping will be.

Fingers crossed, Iíll let you know how it plays outÖ.. Dave
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:12 PM   #2
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Welcome from New Jersey, congratulations on your New camper. If only it goes 1/2 that well that would be great, It does sound like you have all your ducks in a row. Safe travels, definitely let us know how it goes. Pictures too.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:29 PM   #3
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Depending on the complexity of the rv it might take a while longer for the pdi.

Like they may not have the water & sewer hooked up. We were closer to three hours! The DW checked every ac outlet. Gas and electric water heater. Furnace. AC. every light. There are a lot.

We were tired puppies that day.

Have fun.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:48 PM   #4
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^ this
plus be prepared for possibly another day of two for them to fix any issues you may find. Expect to find saw dust when you open things.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:12 PM   #5
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Since the dealer had 6 weeks to prep it, I'd expect they will have just started on it the morning you arrive, and they'll make you wait a bit for them to finish it.

Meanwhile the business manager is tied up with a customer, so you wait some more to do the paperwork. Allow extra time to fight with the business manager over their push to sell you an extended warranty. Note extra charges on the invoice, get them removed, and start over with signing papers.

Then, during the walk through and PDI, you'll discover some more issues that need to be addressed, and you'll wait some more. You won't be the only customer there, so yours may not be first priority, either. You may get fed up at some point, and accept some defects as they are, to be fixed later by yourself, and get on your way.

I'm trying to be pessimistic, just realistic.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:25 PM   #6
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Good luck to you I hope all goes well. I traded my 2004 2860 in on a 2016 3010 while on vacation at a dealer in New York that I have used a couple other times when I lived in Western Pennsylvania. The only issue I had during the walk through was the porch light didn't work. They replaced the switch. It was halfway home to Missouri that things started to go south. I haven't had a trip out yet that I didn't have to work on something. I hope your luck is better than mine.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:38 PM   #7
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why don't you hook it up yourself so you know how any sway or weight distribution features work. is the dealer providing chocks, water hose, sewer hose? take a multimeter with you to test batteries and converter. also a tire pressure gauge. maybe even one of those three light power receptacle testers.

best of luck.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:24 PM   #8
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Sounds about right

After a 1200 mi trip from Fl to Liberty, Mo we arrived @ dealer for our 9:30 AM Appointment to pick up our18RJBBL Wolf Pup Toy Hauler, it was plugged into power and water and AC on. We got a Quick 15 min walk thru, the tech installed The Blue Ox WDH, and I checked the lights. They struggled to put the only , not what I really wanted tow mirrors on and I-went inside to pay parts for hitch and mirror . I then gave them a personal check for trailer and we were done.

The only trouble encountered was my fault for not having a properly prepared tow vehicle. The title says 3624 lbs, The door sticker says actual dry weight 3846 lbs.

Going toward a Mobile to get back to Fl still lots of rolling hills. Everything was fine till route changed to cross winds, added one more link to Blue Ox, better but today’s truck drivers are racing stupid EDL logs and need to be more careful.

The BBL, solar panel, tires etc, 3-400 lbs more than I expected.

Much to our surprise”old red” A 98 Ford Ranger , 4.0 , 3.73 axle, automatic w/OD. 75 down hill, crest 55 OD off. Pulled it but got 8-12 mpg.

We had to stop and layover Sun , till Ford Dealer was open to get put on a ERG pressure sensor thing, bring enough tools to fix it yourself.
I scanned code P104, $20-30 part.


“Old Red” was very insulted when they offered $2500 for him.

The dealer also did not have brake controller in his $31K Ranger that supposed to tow 7500 lbs. I wanted to test drive it towing my Trailer.



Made it home to Fl in 2 1/2 days. Go out of State prepared for anything. Apple Maps three settings, backroads, highways, interstates. We saw Lake of Ozark Mountains.

I am adding ATF cooler, synthetic gear and ATF Fluid, new brake controller, and other things.

I’m retired mechanic and a OTR Truck Driver, Novices don’t try it with Ranger 5600 Lbs tow capacity.

Everything works on Trailer no problems yet .
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:25 PM   #9
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dealer

I bought a new to me TT in mid April when the pandemic had most everything shut down so i didn't get a walk through and i had to hook it up to my truck. I didn't know how to do the weight distribution hitch so i did get help with that. I told the salesman that it was my first RV but it didn't do any good, he didn't show me anything. I called the next day saying that the slide out tips in enough at the top that the cabinets rub on the floor and he said it was normal. The rear stabilizers didn't work at the dealership either and oddly enough the saleman said there must be a wire unhooked and sure enough there was a wire unhooked. I have since talked to the service manager about them looking at it and he did give me some good information but wouldn't tell me if they would pay for the work or if i would have to, he did say there is no warranty on anything that leaves the lot. I have told them that i will never recommend their dealership to anyone. Oh about two weeks ago i talked to the salesman about a walk through and he said that he sent me link to a video and i told him i never got it, he then told me to look on you tube. I wouldn't advise anyone going to Veurinks RV in Grand Rapids Mi.
I hope your experience is better than mine.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:45 PM   #10
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We bought our trailer From Keystone RV at the Hershey show two years ago. Never saw the salesman again. But delivery went as you described. PDI was thorough. Picked it up on a cold November day. Fresh water tank had water to test systems TT was plugged in and ready. They took the TV keys, set E4 hitch up correctly then winterized it and showed me how. Gave them a check, off we went and have not been back since.

Not necessarily a typical experience from what I read.
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:22 PM   #11
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Congratulations on the new TT! Looking at your expectation list, you seem to have forgotten the sales pitches for add-ons (e.g., tire and wheel insurance, extended warranty, etc.) you will receive while completing the paperwork. If you are sure you don't want these coverages, tell them so and stick to it. If you think you might want any of the coverages, don't accept the first amount quoted - you'd be surprised how quickly those numbers drop if you don't seem overly interested. Since so much depends on the hitch in terms of handling and safety, I would want to at least watch them install the hitch and I would insist on a thorough explanation of how it is set-up and why that set-up is right for your rig. Then take it slow and easy until you get accustomed to towing. Good luck, and happy camping!
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Old 08-14-2020, 12:22 PM   #12
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Good luck, IMHO should have purchased local. One of the Forest River brochures that came with ours basically dealers other then the selling aren't really obligated to deal with any warranty issues that come up...
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:44 PM   #13
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Your new trailer is a house on wheels with all of the systems of a stationary house and then some. Things shake lose. Even this most responsible dealer (unfortunately, most aren't) will miss stuff in their prep. The only way to be reasonably sure that everything works properly is to stay at a campground near the dealership for a couple of nights and make punch list of the issues you find. And there will be issues. Also, let the service department know you will be coming back with the trailer so they can keep a spot open for you. Our dealer was 90 miles from home. We went back with a fairly long punch list, but because we planned ahead the dealer was able to take care of most of it when we brought the rig back after out two day/night shake down. As it turned out, our first trip took us past the dealer's general area, so stuff we found later was taken care of then. Before you pick up your new rig, you may want to find out if there is a dealer/repair facility closer to home to take care of annual maintenance and any warranty issues later. THERE WILL BE ISSUES. Enjoy your new RV and welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by boydn1 View Post
Good luck, IMHO should have purchased local. One of the Forest River brochures that came with ours basically dealers other then the selling aren't really obligated to deal with any warranty issues that come up...
There are tons of cases where buying local was a nightmare. Buying local is NO guarantee of getting good service.
And many of us have bought out of state and were able to get warranty work done locally. FR found us three local dealers willing to do the warranty work. Many of us use independent RV shops or mobile RV tech. If you plan right and educate yourself about the options, you don't need to buy local. I tried but none of the local dealers were willing to negotiate on price.
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:22 PM   #15
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Picking up new trailer

Film the walk through with your phone. They throw so much info at you so fast having a video helps remembering,

They will always try to sell an extended warranty. I never buy it.

They will try to sell you an overpriced box of toilet paper, water hose, sewer dump,hose and some tank chemicals.

Have the dealer send you the settlement detail before you drive there. This will help prevent dishonest add on charges.

The internet dealer I have used twice runs their business as a high volume, make a little on a lot of trailers. They easily sell 400 a month which means they want to move you through smoothly and quickly. The day I picked up my trailer they had 18 other buyers taking delivery. The salesman was like hello, hereís your trailer, Joe will walk you through and when your done come inside and Sally will go over your paperwork.
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Old 08-14-2020, 04:33 PM   #16
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I can tell you what to expect: Lies, misinformation, BS, blown-off answers, little interest that you understand how things operate, a hurry PDI assuming you know more, especially if this is not your first RV, hidden valves, switches not identified, and as soon as papers signed, that salesman is no where to be found, to answer questions that come up, won't respond to emails, and generally not giving a damn to follow through on promises made. These guys are nothing like a sleazy car salesman. They set the lowest standards you can't believe.

Then there is the service department. Buy a current year rental and bring it in to have things fixed. When asked if this or that is covered by warranty, before any work done, they say yes, then try 5 months later to collect and say it isn't covered.

Maybe your experience will be different, but just be prepared.
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:11 PM   #17
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We purchased recently and spent 4 hours on the PDI, additional time on the paperwork and WDH setup. It takes a long time to really check everything. Plan on sufficient time, you might consider staying overnight locally the night before
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:20 PM   #18
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We purchased recently and spent 4 hours on the PDI, additional time on the paperwork and WDH setup. It takes a long time to really check everything. Plan on sufficient time, you might consider staying overnight locally the night before
This!
You should demand an adequate PDI/walkthrough, before finalizing the paperwork and be willing to walk away.
And make sure the dealer knows your expectations ahead of time.
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:58 PM   #19
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Sounds like you've done your homework, but as others have stated, be prepared for the unexpected.
One recommendation I will offer you is to not take the condition of your roof for granted. Get up there and inspect it. I didn't when I went out of state to purchase my Micro Lite and two weeks later I decided to install a vent cover and discovered a thumbnail size hole in the rubber roof. Needless to say, I was pissed. I ass-umed the roof was pristine, after all it was a new trailer. The roof was replaced under warranty, luckily by a local dealer, but the whole situation could have been avoided if I inspected the roof before I consumated the deal.
Congrats on your new trailer and I hope your transaction is flawless.
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Old 08-14-2020, 06:05 PM   #20
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Don't forget this is purely a business deal for the dealer and you need to treat it the same way. Too many people let their excitement overshadow their good sense. If you find issues have them fixed before you sign anything. Until you sign paperwork you have leverage. Do not accept take it and use it then return it to a FR dealer for any required repairs. This is totally different from purchasing a car or truck. Good Luck
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